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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Is Your Plumbing Protected Against Freezing Temps?


The holiday season is upon us, and as we all know, this can be a hectic time of the year. However, that doesn’t give you an excuse to forget about caring for your home. In fact, you may regret doing so! We’ve shared a lot of advice over the years in regards to protecting your plumbing and making sure it’s maintained properly, and we’re going to share one more—take the proper steps to prevent frozen pipes this winter!

Pipe freeze isn’t just a problem in and of itself, it’s the cause of another problem—burst pipes. The thawing process that pipes go through leads to this. Thawing creates a negative pressure buildup in the plumbing system, and that’s when they crack. As a result, you can find yourself facing property damage and potential flooding. So, what are these steps to follow to avoid pipe freeze?

Step #1: Leave Outdoor Faucets Open

When temperatures drop below 30° your whole plumbing system is at risk. But the pipes most susceptible to freezing, naturally, are those that lead outdoors.

Most homeowners have outdoor faucets that are used for sprinkler systems and/or hoses. If this describes your setup, bake sure you turn off water flow to these points. Open the faucets, as well, to drain any excess water, and then leave them open.

You might also want to purchase some affordable insulated caps for your faucet openings and hoses.

Step #2: Disconnect Hoses

Speaking hoses, they’re susceptible to freezing as well. Ensure you disconnect your hoses before temps drop too low, let them drain, and keep them in a dry and relatively well insulated located—like a garage or shed.

Step #3: Insulate Your Pipes

If your pipes don’t lead to the outdoors, you don’t have anything to worry about, right? Well, no…

We have to insist that you cover the other parts of your plumbing that can be vulnerable to freeing—this may include pipes in your basement and even pipes that run through your walls that face the outside.

To protect these pipes from freezing conditions, the best thing you can do is insulate them. There are a couple methods to do this—by using towels or by purchasing affordable insulated sleeves for your pipes online or at your local hardware store. This helps keep the temperature of the water in your pipes from dropping too low. You want your pipes to be as warm and insulated as possible.

Step #4: Keep Your Bathroom and Kitchen Sink Cabinets Open

This may seem like a strange tip, but bear with us! The plumbing fixtures in your kitchen and your bathrooms have pipes that are typically exposed, underneath the sinks. By keeping the cabinets down here cracked open, you allow the heat from your home’s HVAC system to reach them, helping to prevent pipe freezing from this location, as well.

“So, What If My Pipes Freeze Anyway?”

It’s unfortunate, but despite your best efforts, this could happen. It’s essential that you don’t try to thaw your plumbing on your own. As we alluded to above, the thawing process can cause burst pipes, and we’d like to help you avoid that if possible!

Contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration to find a plumber in Los Alamos, NM you can trust.

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